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Will the UN create a new VoIP Tax?

By Brian Greer on Tue, Jun 26, 2012 @ 01:56 PM

Have you been following the stories about the UN's desire to gain more control of the internet from the US?  If you are a VoIP provider and are interested in VoIP tax (telecom tax), then maybe you should.

The UN has been asking the United States to give more control of the internet to the international community.  When I first read this story, my first thought was "new taxes".

Why?  Because every taxing jurisdiction seems to be looking to the internet as a source of new revenue.  Look at the focus on Amazon Laws here in the US. 

With Apple, Google, NetFlix and Facebook profiting from the internet, it wouldn't surprise me if the UN wanted to collect tax on their activities also.

Well, indeed that is the UN's plan.  You can read about it here in Forbes

The logic is that these large players consume lots of internet resources and that tax would be a  way to fairly compensate infrastructure providers for supporting their businesses.  I gave that some thought and I noticed that my head bobbed up and down in agreement.  Yes, that could make sense.

But, isn't that how all new taxes start?  Parking meters used to cost a nickel per hour.  Fast forward to 2009 and Chicago receives $1.2 billion for a 75 year lease to city metered parking.

I wonder how telecom tax began?  I bet it was simple and inexpensive also. 

Although the UN is focused on companies with heavy internet usage, the underlying logic is that when a company uses internet resources, it should be taxed.  The UN's sell-in is to focus on large companies.  But, like the nickel parking meter, the UN will figure out this can become big business.  What if every company in the world that used internet bandwidth had to pay a bandwidth tax?

Keep your eye on this story.  We will too. 

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Brian Greer

Written by Brian Greer